By INÊS LOPES [email protected]
British Ambassador to Portugal Alex Ellis will be leaving the position at the end of the year to take up a new role with the Foreign Office in London.
The British Embassy confirmed to the Algarve Resident on Tuesday that Alex Ellis had been appointed as Director of Strategy for the Foreign Office, a position he is expected to start “sometime” in January 2011.
Joanna Kuenssberg O’Sullivan, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy, will be taking up an interim role of representing the British diplomatic presence in Portugal until a replacement for Alex Ellis is announced by the Foreign Office.
Alexander Wykeham Ellis was appointed as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Portuguese Republic on October 10, 2007, replacing John Buck.
Previously Adviser to the President of the European Commission, a position he had held since 2005, Alexander Ellis moved to Lisbon with his wife Maria Teresa Adegas and their son.
Shortly after he took up his diplomatic post in Portugal, Alex Ellis spoke to the Algarve Resident about the challenges he expected to encounter and they included the reorganisation of consular work, moving back office functions and centralising some activities, so that his team could focus more on front line issues, such as child custody matters, accidents and emergencies.
This week was expected to be the last time Alex Ellis would be visiting the Algarve as British Ambassador.
He was due to attend two farewell events, one organised by the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday evening and the other a consular lunch yesterday (Thursday) to celebrate the appointments of Clive Jewell as British Consul to the Algarve and Miguel Sengo da Costa as British Honorary Consul in the Faro area.